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Performance - Competitive

For the competitive comparison, I included the 209 and 209+II along with three other dual-drive NASes currently ranking at the top of the NAS Charts: Buffalo TeraStation Duo, QNAP TS-239 Pro and QNAP TS-219P. I also included the previous-generation DS209+, which also still ranks high among dual-drive NASes.

Unfortunately, the 209 and 209+II's unusually high cached performance at lower file sizes compresses the plot scale. So you'll need to look at the table below the plots to really see what's going on.

As expected, the 209+ turns in the slowest RAID 0 write peformance in Figure 22 and also doesn't display the write cache boost shown in the 209 and 209+II. For 1 GB and higher file sizes, the TS-239 Pro and DS209+II are just about equal in the low-to-mid 50 MB/s range, with the DS209 close behind.

Competitive RAID 1 write comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 22: Competitive RAID 1 write comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 23, showing a comparison of RAID 0 read speed, is easier to read and shows three performance clusters at the larger file sizes. The top group includes the QNAP TS-239 Pro, DS209 and DS209+II in the high 50 MB/s range, followed by the Buffalo Terastation Duo and QNAP TS-219P in the mid-40 MB/s range, then the DS209+ in the mid 30 MB/s range.

Competitive RAID 1 read comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 23: Competitive RAID 1 read comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

Performance - File Copy

The Vista SP1 1000 Mbps RAID 1 file copy write results in Figure 24 show relative rankings similar to those of the iozone-based results, but with a clearer difference among products. For RAID 1 write, the QNAP TS-239 Pro easily outdistances both 209s, coming in at 56.2 MB/s vs. 41.9 and 35.9 for the 209+II and 209 respectively.

RAID 1 Vista SP1 File Copy Write

Figure 24: RAID 1 Vista SP1 File Copy Write

Figure 25 shows the 1000 Mbps RAID 1 File Copy read ranking, which are surprising. The TS-239 Pro stays in the 50 MB/s range, but both 209s jump up to the low 70 MB/s! I wouldn't attach too much significance to the fact that the 209 came in higher than the 209+II.

RAID 1 Vista SP1 File Copy read

Figure 25: RAID 5 Vista SP1 File Copy Read

Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.

Closing Thoughts

Synology's latest OS enhancements continue to make its NASes among the most sought-after by discriminating NAS buyers. The addition of iSCSI target support finally removes a competitive disadvantage for business buyers. And the iPhone / iTouch remote photo and music access is sure to please owners of those popular toys, uh, tools.

The bottom line is that there is suprisingly little performance difference between the DS209+II and confusingly-named DS209. And since the 209 is about $150 cheaper than the 209+II and around $50 less expensive than the previous-generation 209+, it's clearly the smartest buy. The only thing you'll be giving up is the eSATA port. But slower backups may be a small price to pay for big cost savings.

Updated 10/7/2009

Synology had this comment about the performance of the DS209 and 209+II:

The biggest difference is that the DS209+II is made for multi-user environments. The greater pricing for the DS209+II is for the ability for many users to not affect bandwidth. For example, in our testing, 22 clients can be reading/writing consistently to the DS209+II at 2 MB/sec while the DS209 falls to .8 MB/sec when 22 clients perform the same actions.

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